panorama software,virtual tour software
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2004-08-18
#12

Wouldn't Sun frown on this practice? Back in the days we were using the Imove viewer format, we could not get permission from Imove to host their viewer .exe. This was particularly annoying because they kept moving their .exe around, making deep-linking impossible for any length of time. Yet it was hard to find if you were just visiting their site. That's one of the things I've always liked about Java and Quicktime... there's no bulls*#t getting the viewer when you go to their main pages. But I would be concerned what the legal implications would be if they caught you hosting their software on your site.

Just a thought...

Brian Jackson


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2004-08-18
#13

The reason I suggested it is because they do just what you stated and make it hard for the 99%ers to find without offering all kinds of other junk. Quicktime is really bad for it - if you don't read every bit and fill in an email address you can't have it and now it defaults with music crap and you must select a box without it. Otherwise you end up with a 20 MB file :(

As for Sun Java, the site is easier and I personally don't have a problem with it. BUT! The amount of people who ask me how to download it even after I have pointed them to the site is amazing!

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it get me a coke!

Legal or not, it is just a suggestion. What you do I could care less about. But in the end it is your choice.

As another suggestion, you could offer the older MS JVM but you cannot get this from Microsoft anymore. But check on most panorama sites and there will be a link to it from there own server.

Regards, Smooth


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2004-08-18
#14

Hey Smooth

Thanks - I'd thought your suggestion required something like a database or something!  To be honest, I'd personally not worry about hosting any plugin - but as there's quite a few choices of platform, I've placed a link on my site to the manual download page:

http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

Thanks buddy

Tony


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2004-08-18
#15

Hi Smooth and Tony.

Sorry, didn't mean to open a can-O-worms. That always confused me because worms are pretty easy to round up. Now a Can-O Snakes...

Smooth, you're absolutely right, and I stand corrected. I hadn't been to those sites in a while, and I'm always frustrated when companies whose viewers we're designing our panos for feel compelled to intercept what would normally be a simple install process with their own marketing propoganda.

Like you, we used to get multitudes of calls from people who couldn't grasp that installation was a seperate step from downloading. That's why we switched to Java in the first place... it was more "idiot-proof." I was saddened to learn last year that Java support on standard Windows installations was in question, as this greatly affects our industry. Part of our selling feature was that nearly all Windows users could see our panos "right out of the box" without having to download or install any special software. That initself gained us many clients.

I've read some rumors that the latest Java release conflicts with PTCompass. Any idea if that's true? Our site uses PTCompass to demonstrate our Aerial VR process, and at least 2 clients whom we've done aerial jobs for require it as navigational aids in their narratives (look N.W. to see building X). I get nervous when Java standards change without my knowledge.

Getting slightly off the subject, there are organizations of pano photographers like QTVRA whom mainly deal with Apple viewers, as the name would suggest. Is there a similar, organized group for those who's primary means of publication use Java?

On every CD project RotoPix produces, we include the .exe files for both Quicktime and Sun Java 1.4.1. By the way, we're now licensed by Apple for QT distribution on stand-alone media. I wish the same could be said for Sun Java. If they remove functionality (ala PTCompass) or turn it into Bloatware we're screwed. Regarding Bloatware, Imove did this when they introduced useless functionality into their viewer .exe that increased the file size 10-fold. We instantly lost our dial-up market. Quicktime has done this too, but much of our market share is now on broadband, so the affects are not as pronounced as they were 3 years ago.

What I'm getting at here is that there seems to be a need among us VR producers for a universal, on-demand applet through which to provide our panoramic content to the masses. Java was the solution for a while, but their relation with MS is iffy. Quicktime is a nice alternative, but their viewer is sometimes jerky in panning, and forces clients to download and install a large file before they can even see your work. Most people won't... just a fact of life.

Bottom line: Producing breathtaking Panos is pointless unless there's a reliable medium through which to display them. Our reliance on other's technology forces compliance. That's why we're forced to do things like Cubic Conversions and write .IVR files. It's proprietary to a specific viewer. At any time the holder of that viewer can pull the rug out from under us and we've got a lot of 1s and 0s that mean nothing.

Given enough time, it's inevitable that the "infinite wisdom" of our Microsoft overlords will manage to capitalize on the pano industry. I'd welcome that if I thought they'd do it right. But based on their track record I get this sinking feeling.

End of rant.

Brian Jackson


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2004-08-18
#16

Hi Brian

Sounds like you've got good reason to rant.  It amazed me when I discovered DVD's were initially developed under seperate regional formats.  Seems our modern world wants to continue doing things in the bad, old ways. 

My first panos were done 5 years ago when I worked on a Mac and I used Quicktime (QTVR Studio was a really good app).  However, I and most of the world seem to have grown up and moved onto PC's (Apple has gone out of their way to isolate themselves unfortunately).  I'm pretty convinced Java's the best way to go as they cover most mainstream platforms.  Of course, if their updates break your existing functionality, it's a major hastle.  I seem to remember a similar thing happening with updates of Quicktime and the resulting loss of hotspot recognition.

Ah well, along with HD crashes, viruses and expensive software, seems this's just another cross we need to bare.

Good luck and hope somebody acts on your request

Steiner (oops - Tony)


Condottiero - Freelance Multimedia Design
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2004-08-18
#17

Hi Guys,

Just back on the quicktime plugin issue, I found linking to the standalone installer better as it avoids the whole itunes and email issue and allows the user to install from their system instead of downloading more files once the launcher starts.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/standalone/

hope this helps.

Craig


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2004-08-19
#18
Quote: Originally posted by vrboy on August-18-2004

Hi Guys,

Just back on the quicktime plugin issue, I found linking to the standalone installer better as it avoids the whole itunes and email issue and allows the user to install from their system instead of downloading more files once the launcher starts.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/standalone/

hope this helps.

Craig


Good one Craig,

I have been looking for that bugger! Your a legend.

Regards, Smooth


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2004-08-19
#19

Brian,

Good rant buddy!

You see now where I'm coming from. Mate I know that there is another company that has a viewer that is stand alone it's just that it has not yet been released to the public. (This may be what we are looking for?) Will will know soon enough. Of course easypano offer the Virtual Tour.exe version of their software and it works great BUT! it does need some improvements and less advertisements and referrals back to them.

Then of course there is ActiveX and this is where Microsoft is heading because it is their technology. I have used it via Panorama Express Software and it works well. BUT! it also has issues where as if you add a hyperlink on the same .html page the hyperlink won't work! So you must either hyperlink from within the tour interface or not at all on that page. This is where using a "break-out" sized window is appropriate leaving the main window open to return to.

Regards, Smooth